This Cast Iron Skillet Pecan Pie is rich, creamy, and packed with the flavor of toasted pecans and maple syrup.
Although corn syrup is traditionally used to make pecan pie, this recipe uses maple syrup instead. A touch of sour cream creates a silky smooth texture and plenty of toasted pecans add a nutty crunch to every bite.
Cast iron is an excellent conductor of heat and the perfect pan to use when you want a pie with a golden, flaky, evenly baked crust.
True confessions: I don't really like pecans. And yet, I am 100% head-over-heels-in-love with this cast iron skillet pecan pie.
Years ago, determined to bake a pecan pie that I would enjoy, I created this creamy no-corn syrup pecan pie. It's more flavorful and less sweet than most pecan pies and has become an essential part of our Thanksgiving meal. It was also the first pecan pie I actually genuinely liked.
Since moving into a 5th wheel RV and becoming a full-time nomad, I've been cooking with cast iron more than ever before. Hoping to make a good thing even better, I did a little experimenting with baking pecan pie in a cast iron skillet.
The result was exactly what I'd hoped for - a golden, flakey bottom crust that's evenly baked and the perfect crispy shell for the rich, creamy, toasted maple pecan filling.
This cast iron skillet pecan pie pairs especially well with this Dutch Oven Turkey Pot Pie.
Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Recipe
- 1 pie crust that's large enough to line the inside of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. My favorite from-scratch pie crust recipe is this Foolproof Pie Crust, which is what you see pictured here. But, you can use any kind of pie crust you like including a frozen prepared crust from your supermarket's freezer.
- Pecan halves. You could also use whole pecans or chopped pecans, but pecan halves really do work the best in this pie.
- Eggs. Eggs are an important part of traditional pecan pie filling and this recipe is no exception.
- Sour cream. Sour cream is not a traditional part of most pecan pie recipes, but it should be. Just a touch of sour cream adds even more flavor to the pecan pie filling and creates a gorgeously creamy texture.
- Brown sugar and granulated sugar. A mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar gives this pie a caramel flavor with a silky texture that holds its shape when sliced
- Real maple syrup. Maple syrup is not only less sweet than corn syrup, it adds about 1000% more flavor to the pecan pie filling. Less sweet + more flavor = the best pecan pie you've ever had.
- Apple cider vinegar. Just 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar increases the acidity in this pecan pie filling creating a more balanced level of sweetness. It also works with the little bit of flour in this recipe to keep the filling from being runny.
- Butter. Just two tablespoons of melted butter is all you need for a pecan pie filling with a rich texture that melts in your mouth.
- Pure vanilla extract. Don't use imitation vanilla in this recipe because it can leave a bitter aftertaste.
- All-purpose flour. One of the reason corn syrup is used in most traditional pecan pie recipes is because it acts as a kind of glue that holds the filling together and helps it "set". Maple syrup is thinner than corn syrup, so using it instead of corn syrup can result in a runny pie. BUT, just 1 ½ tablespoons of flour works with the apple cider vinegar to create a perfectly set pecan pie that's soft, silky, and never runny.
- Salt. Always and forever. Salt is incredibly important in sweet foods because it helps to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavor in all the other ingredients.
*See the recipe card for precise quantities of all these ingredients.
How to Bake Pecan Pie in a Cast Iron Skillet
Roll out a pie crust and fit it into the bottom of a seasoned 12-inch cast iron pan. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the crust so that it's about ½-inch taller than the edges of the pan.
Cover the crust and put the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
To toast the pecans, dump them into a dry skillet and set it over medium heat. Stir the pecans as they cook until they are darker in color and starting to smell toasty.
Keep a close eye on them because they can burn quickly. Dump the toasted pecans onto a plate and let them cool before proceeding.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk for a minute or so until they are broken up and blended.
Whisk in the sour cream, then add brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
Whisk until all the ingredients are combined, then whisk in the flour and salt.
Stir the toasted pecans into the filling and then pour it into the crust.
Bake the pie at 325° F (162° C) for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300° F (149° C) and bake for 30 minutes more.
Turn the oven off but do not take the pie from the oven just yet. Let the pie rest in the oven with the door closed for an hour. Then remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
Pecan pie really needs no adornment. It's perfectly delicious eaten all on it's own. But, if you'd like to add a little something extra, serve this pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
If going the whipped cream route, I suggest sweetening the cream with a bit of maple syrup instead of confectioners sugar. (Maple whipped cream is also my favorite thing to serve with Maple Pumpkin Pie!)
Here's how to make maple whipped cream:
- Pour about a cup of heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it's just beginning to thicken. With the mixer running, slowly pour in about 3 tablespoons of maple syrup.
- Continue to beat until medium peaks form. This means that you can lift the beater from the whipped cream and the "peak" that forms will hold its shape, but the top of the peak will fall over itself.
- Use the whipped cream immediately, or place it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
This is one of the few pies you can bake several days in advance and it will taste just as delicious as the day you baked it.
If you'd like to bake this pecan pie up to 4 days before you plan to serve it, here are a few tips:
- Allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature before covering it. Covering a still warm pecan pie can cause condensation to build up under the covering and make the pie soggy.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.
- Place the covered pie in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- For the best flavor, let the pie sit out at room temperature for about 4 hours before you plan to serve it. Cold pecan pie has a more subdued flavor than pie served at room temperature.
- If you'd like to serve pecan pie that's slightly warm, put the pie in an oven that's been heated to 325° F (165° C) for 15 minutes.
Does pecan pie need to be refrigerated?
While many store-bought pecan pies contain preservatives that make them safe to store at room temperature, homemade pecan pie should be stored in the refrigerator.
It's safe to store homemade pecan pie at room temperature for up to 4 hours, but after that it should be refrigerated.
Can you freeze pecan pie?
Yes! Freeze the entire pie or individual slices for up to 3 months. Wrap the pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before freezing. I usually use both - a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil.
Allow frozen pecan pie to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Serve at room temperature or reheat in an oven that's been heated to 325° F (165° C) for 15 minutes.
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- 1 pie crust large enough to line the inside of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. I used this recipe for Fool Proof Pie Crust.
- 8 ounces (1 ¾ cups) pecan halves
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) sour cream, preferably full fat
- ½ cup (106 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (14 ounces) pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted (I used salted)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons (11.25 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Roll out and fit a bottom pie crust into a 12-inch cast iron pan, shaping the edge of the crust so it comes at least a ½-inch over the top of the edges of the pan. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- Put the pecans in a dry skillet or saucepan and set it over medium heat. Let the pecans toast, stirring from time to time, until they are darker in color and starting to smell toasty. Watch them carefully; they burn easily. Dump them out onto a plate and let cool completely.
- Heat the oven to 325° F (176° C).
- Crack the eggs into a medium size bowl and beat with a wire whisk until they are broken up and blended. Whisk in the sour cream, stirring until completely incorporated.
- Add both sugars, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, melted butter, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl, add to the batter and whisk until completely incorporated. Stir in the toasted pecans.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300° F (148° C) and bake for 30 minutes more. Let the pie stand in the oven with the door closed for an hour then remove and let cool completely before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 415mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 3gSugar: 50gProtein: 7g